Friday, December 19, 2014

Petty Gods: 3 Tales of the Jale God

Three Tales of the Jale God

I.
The Jale God sat on his chklor throne, watching the universe inch by.

"Tell me," he said to his doddering scrivener, "why do mortals remember and regret?"

The doddering scrivener consulted his record book. He turned several pages, scanning the lines therein with his arthritic finger. He finally looked up at the Jale God and shrugged.

"Exactly!" the Jale God laughed, "So true!"


II.
When the days of putrefaction were ended according to the unbreakable laws of the Elder Way, the Jale God appeared at the court of the Cerisian Empire, taking the form of a minor noble of small renown. He swiftly seduced the queen and her daughters, positioned himself as an advisor to the king, and disrupted the flow of trade to fill his coffers. Then he set about building a temple to further the worship of his name.

When it came time to anoint the first priest of the new temple, the Jale God called two close advisors before him. Now, one of these men was loyal and devout, a true confidant to the Jale God's human avatar; the other was a vile and loathsome man untrusted by even the cook's apprentice.

The Jale God handed each man a ritual knife and bade them slay one another. The righteous man refused, and while he was refusing, stabbed the evil man in the heart. The Jale God struck the loyal man dead.

The Jale God pulled the knife from the vile man's heart and laughed: "Your ordination is tonight!"


III.
Once, the Jale God deigned to walk among mortals and took the form of a wandering bard. First he visited a hamlet where he cured a pig of hoof rot and taught a stableboy to play the lute. Then he prowled the alleys of a fair-sized city, haggling with prostitutes, trading lays for laughter and good company. Then he performed at court, plucking out ballads to soothe the mood of an arrogant duke. And finally he sat by the side of a dying witch and sang her a song while she faded to her reward.

"Tell me," he asked Gnil'bmag and Tra, two of his trusted vassals, "which of these experiences taught me the most about men?"

Gnil'bmag and Tra considered the question. They asked for a week to ponder the answer.

A week passed. The Jale God was at his favorite dicing den when Gnil'bmag and Tra approached. Gnil'bmag spoke first.

"You learned more from teaching the stable boy music," he said. "Teaching imparts more wisdom than learning."

"No," said Tra. "You learned more from the dying witch. A noble death is a rare thing for a servant of the darker arts."

"Fools!" said the Jale God. "Did you not understand the question?"



 
 Iä! Jaash im raa! Iä! Jaash im raa! Iä! Jaash im raa!